Customer Watch: With Hair Chicly Styled Off the Face, Bring On the Earrings

Two distinct but related trends in hair styles warm the heart of every jewelry designer who has seen his or her earrings hidden under the Victoria Beckham angled bobs and Sarah Jessica Parker long tousled waves that have been popular over the last several years. The trend: styling the hair back off the face. Yes, there are ears there, newly visible, and they practically cry out for adornment.

 
              

  

     [Photos from Allure magazine]

The first trend is the look of a ballerina, hair pulled back tight into a topknot or a low bun or, in a slightly less severe version, a sleek ponytail. The hairstyles derive from the styles favored on the Fashion Week runways. The October 2008 issue of Allure magazine features a full-page spread of these slick styles (see photos above), proclaiming them “simply irresistible for fall.” Hairstylist Guido, who styled the models for Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein, applies first gel and then shine serum to dry hair to create a shiny lacquered effect. “With these styles, your face is totally exposed, which is sexy in a strong, confident way,” Guido is quoted as saying.

              

[Photos: Maggie Gyllenhaal in In Style magazine, left, and Hayley Atwell in Allure magazine, right.]

 

The second trend is a softer pulled-back look, the hair looser and slightly teased yet still pulled back and away from the face. If the additional volume is at the top of the head, with the sides kept flat, the effect is that of a pompadour. The softer style is generally easier to wear than tightly pulled back hair, as it is less severe and softer around the face.

 

These styles are perfect for readying a face to take the “core photo,” a concept I coined in Jewelry Savvy, giving the customer the opportunity for an objective visual evaluation of the design elements of her face. Notice the variety of face shapes shown here.

 

These styles are also perfect for bad hair days. And they may enable the customer to delay a haircut, a budget-stretching move ideal for these challenging financial times.

 

At the same time, could there be a more ideal opportunity to showcase earrings? The sleeker hairstyle works beautifully with an equally pared-down earring design, which can be as simple as gemstone stud earrings. Architectural shapes are an excellent complement. A woman of larger features, larger proportions, or larger personality will likely want larger earrings.

 

For the softer hairstyle, more romantic designs generally work beautifully. At the same time, if the pompadour is a accompanied with kohl-rimmed eye makeup and other indicia of punk or Goth style, jewelry should follow suit. Remember, that not only the features of the customer’s face, ears and neck but also her style personality can and will be factors in her selection of earrings she loves.